Aligning with the debut of his solo album on January 6, Morgan set out for the Wash House Ting Tour, alongside music brothers J Boog and Jo Mersa Marley. A triple threat of J's, Morgan and Marley represent a new generation of reggae music artists who have been able to perfect their sound due to the music education they were privy to growing up.
KingstonToLA caught the second show of the tour at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. The trio's fans were out in full force. Morgan set the tone of the sold out show as the opening act, introduced by his father, Gramps Morgan. The younger Morgan performed hot singles off his Transition album such as "Good Old Roots" and "International Love." At one point, the budding talent serenaded a female fan with his lover's rock single "Forever Girl." After the high-energy show, we were able to sit down with Morgan to find out what kept him inspired while growing up reggae royalty.
Morgan was raised between Jamaica and Brooklyn, New York and believes he got the best of both worlds. "It's heavily influenced in my music. You hear a lot of R & B, hip-hop, reggae, the foundation music; so there's a lot that comes with me and it's one of the reasons why I named my album Transition, because it's a transitioning phase of my life right now where I'm going through a phase of turning into something. Where I don't really know what it's going to be, but I believe it's something for the good so I'm enjoying it right now and taking my time," says Morgan.
Transition is the first studio album from Morgan and is expected to keep him on the road in the upcoming months. Morgan has been touring with his family since his childhood and has been continuing these touring duties for the past seven years.
"I've been professionally touring on stage with them and (honestly) this is my first tour away from them," says Morgan. "Everything is changing for me right now in my life," he admits.
Morgan had cut his locks at eight years old and is in the process of re-growing them and explored this journey when saying: "Like my family said, you don't have to dread to be a Rasta, cause you have people who have dreads and they are doing wicked things. It's all about the heart and how you live with people," says Morgan who represents his roots and culture on stage and in his humble presence. Growing up in such a legendary music family gave Morgan the insight he needed to explore his own spirituality and now it seems he has come full circle.
While his family can be considered reggae music royalty, for Morgan it was like growing up in a regular household even though he did miss some days of school to be on tour. "I went to high school in Atlanta; I was a bad kid in school so I was with my mother at one point and then she said 'hey bwoy you need to go to your father.' My last two years of high school - 11th and 12th grade I did a lot of touring with my father around the Caribbean, the U.S., Europe and yeah, it's been a long journey since then."
Morgan's caliber as a performer shows he has done his homework. The influence of his family can be seen in his live show, as he flawlessly delivers his message to fans. "It's watching my uncle Peter, cause every night I would tour with Morgan Heritage, I would do an opening set and sit on the side with a chair and watch my uncle Peter perform because to me he is, like, the greatest lead singer ever and just controls the crowd in the palm of his hands." Morgan also received his own Billboard plaque in 2016, for his feature on "Right Time" with reggae fusion artist Vision, securing the number five spot for Billboard's 2015 Hot Rising Singles.
When asked what he wants people to gain from his music, Morgan's answer was quite profound: "Just how to live with people, love, having confidence in yourself, knowing that you can do anything you want. It's always a different message in my music, like, "Shakers and Movers" on the album is a song about unity. Everyone that's in the music of reggae, we need more unity you know what I mean. We need some shakers and movers to make us unite and take our music to another level."
Morgan and his compadres are poised to continue their journey upward. "We just do music, I love music, it's what I do." says Morgan. As always, the power is in the music, which could be seen at his show in Santa Ana. "Amazing!" says Morgan when asked about the energy at the show. "I love performing here so this is the second sold out and it was a great show last night and tonight." Fans can look forward to many more nights of truly powerful music, from Morgan, Boog and Marley soon.
Catch Morgan on the Wash House Ting Tour in a city near you!
Watch the video for Morgan's hit single "International Love" here on KingstonToLA:
Listen to "Try My Love" with Morgan featuring Gramps Morgan here:
All images courtesy of Facebook